Local Talent @ MCLS

The Mercer County Library System has, among its patrons, a number of authors who have written fiction and non-fiction works.   We are fortunate to have many of these works represented in the Library System’s collections.  Their work includes a wide spectrum of forms and genres, and topics that range from history, poetry, fitness and spirituality to original music.    

Just this past year, the Lawrence Historical Society relaunched a photographic collection entitled Lawrence Township Revisited  as part of the ‘Images of America’ series.  The work contains a number of vintage photos of people, places and events in Lawrenceville that are emblematic of its vibrant history and contemporary dynamism.    J. Robert Cleary and Richard J. Coffee co-authored Reflections: Fond Memoriesof Growing Up in the Village of Lawrenceville, which offers a descriptive and anecdotal sketch of Lawrenceville concentrating on the period between 1928 and 1945.

Another area of non-fiction that has benefitted tremendously from our patrons’ efforts is health and fitness.  Physical training expert Matt Brzycki has written a series of authoritative books on fitness and competitive conditioning, including APractical Approach to Strength Training, Wrestling Strength: Accept theChallengeand The Female Athlete:Reach For Victory - just three of the seven superb guides by Matt that can be found in the Library System’s collections.  Anita Jansen is the author of an especially timely work, JoyfullyGluten-Free: A Complete Gluten-Free Cookbook and Guide, which contains over 700 recipes, a wealth of information on healthy and unhealthy foods, advice on gluten-free shopping,  recipe conversions and tips for eating out. 

Rev. Merilyn Davis is the author of A Clarion Call to Men [And Women, Too!] a collection of spiritual considerations and recommendations on a wide array of important subjects.   Cathy Moore-Coleman, an experienced minister, speaker, organizational leader and Lawrenceville resident, is the author of InnocenceEraseda story for our times, presenting delicately the reality of one of the most difficult societal problems of our age, and offering sage advice on both preventing difficulties and providing healing in their aftermath.   In TheSurvivor, The Hero & The Angel: A Mother’s Story – One  DecadeLawrenceville resident MaryAnn Raccosta relates her story of raising three children, of whom two were afflicted with a rare condition requiring intense care and attention.  The story is an inspiring and incisive one about family life and the sacrifices it sometimes asks.

Another Mercer resident , Tony Rothman,  a lecturer in Physics at Princeton University, has diverse publishing interests, having written essays and scholarly articles on topics in physics and mathematics, as well as plays and fictional works.  His latest novel, entitled Firebird, is a mystery based upon competing efforts to develop energy sources by means of nuclear fusion.  It was published just this year as an ebook.   A Lawrence Branch patron, Stephen Champi, has accomplished a trifecta this year – three of his works have been added to the MCLS collections.  They are two novels, Molly O’Grady’s Home Run and Three New Olympus Gods and TheirUniverse, and a non-fiction work, The DNA of Gender Relationships.  

Carrie Turansky has been publishing fiction for years.  Her shorter novels have appeared in various collections focusing on specific themes, and she has written a number of full-length novels as well.  Several of her titles appear in large print format, and two of them, A Man To Trust and Snowflake Sweetheartswill be appearing soon in the MCLS collection.

John Hartmann, an attorney whose practice includes criminal defense, has just published a highly engaging memoir, Jacket:The Trials of a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney, that relates his experiences navigating the New Jersey criminal justice system.   John’s talent for storytelling combined with his varied experience in and out of court and his insightful observations make for a fascinating read.  He has also published a historical work, The American Partisan: Henry Lee And The Struggle For Independence, 1776-1780.  Tom Gardner, MCLS webmaster, provides a first-person account of the demonstration to promote peace held in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2005 in his book The Lads Protest Too Much,Methinks.


BEN [Ben Chatrer], a talented composer and lyricist, has produced three music albums on compact disc that are available through MCLS.  They are:  Bath, I Am A Monster, and Wool.  In addition to their musical quality, the discs are distinctive for the original liner artwork that accompanies them.  Also available at your Library is MCLS’ own Jerry Monk, a talented and highly popular musician, providing vocals and bass on the album Blues In Disguiseproduced by TJ Nix.

-Jim S.

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